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New allegations surface against a former lawyer of heiress Kawananakoa

File image of Kawananakoa alongside her wife in court. September 2018.
File image of Kawananakoa alongside her wife in court. September 2018.(Hawaii News Now/file (custom credit) | Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Jan. 27, 2019 at 11:00 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -Attorneys for Hawaiian royalty descendant Abigail Kawananakoa are accusing her trustee of improperly taking money from her trust.

In court papers, lawyers for Kawananakoa and her wife Veronica Worth say in September 2018, James Wright withdrew $1.1 million in trustee fees without court approval and paid his attorneys $300,000 for legal fees.

They say he drained her trust of available cash, causing tax problems. They want a judge to make him return the money.

But Wright said he paid Kawananakoa’s taxes last year, totaling nearly $8 million.

He says the payments were legitimate and that a judge previously rejected Worth’s and Kawanakoa’s request for prior approval for the trustee and legal fees.

All this surfaces as they wait for the court to decide if the 92-year-old’s estate will be managed by her wife, successor trustee First Hawaiian Bank or an independent conservator.

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